Report Highlights: 

Post forecasts 2014 production and exports of beef to increase by 2.5 and 6 percent, respectively. This forecast is driven by greater availability of cattle for slaughter, stable domestic cattle prices, and the ongoing depreciation of the Brazilian currency. These factors will likely make Brazilian beef highly competitive in the world market. Pork production and exports are also forecast to increase in 2014 by two and three percent, respectively. Driving forces are lower feed costs due to record soybean and corn crops and higher exports due to the weaker Brazilian real and new export markets. In general, high indebtedness of Brazilian consumers is the main constraint for a smaller growth path for domestic demand for animal protein.

Animal Numbers, Cattle


Post forecasts an increase of 2.5 percent in cattle inventories and 1.5 percent in the calf crop in 2014. The expansion of the Brazilian cattle herd is supported by higher investments in productivity. Cattle producers have access to government programs at subsidized interest rates which encourage pasture improvements and higher use of quality genetics. In addition, due to sustainable cattle prices, cattle producers use more feed and other ingredients during the dry season to maintain cattle weights. The estimated increase of 4 percent in feedlots will likely contribute to larger cattle supplies. The sector also is benefiting from forecast higher cattle and beef exports due to ongoing depreciation of the Brazilian currency, the real. 

During the past year, an estimated shift of three percent of pasture area into the production of soybean and corn occurred. However, higher productivity has offset the loss in pasture to soybeans and corn. 


Post forecasts an increase of nearly 9 percent in cattle exports in 2014 due to a continued increase in exports to Lebanon and to a lesser extent, to Venezuela. Other markets, such as Jordan, Turkey and Congo are expected to increase purchases from Brazil. In addition to the protests of Brazilian meat packers against live cattle exports for slaughter, governments from southern Brazilian states are also considering voluntary restrictions against “exports” of cattle from their area to packers in the Center-West of Brazil.

Meat, Beef and Veal


Post forecasts that beef production in 2014 will increase by 2.5 percent due mostly to international demand and a small increase in domestic demand. The appreciation of the Brazilian currency combined with higher cattle supplies is likely to maintain Brazilian beef at competitive prices. The depreciation of the “real” will also bring extra profit margins for packers. 


Post projects domestic beef consumption to increase by only 1.5 percent in view of higher inflation rates in Brazil combined with higher indebtedness of Brazilian consumers. 


Post projects an increase of beef exports of six percent in 2014 due mostly to depreciation of the Brazilian currency that makes the Brazilian product highly competitive in the world market. Brazilian exporters are optimistic about continued shipments to major markets such as the Russian Federation, the European Union, Egypt and Iran, as well the reopening of other import markets that had banned Brazilian beef last year due to the BSE case in Parana, for example, Saudi Arabia and China. 

Brazil is in the process of increasing the number of farms eligible to export to the European Union. The rules of the Brazilian traceability program (SISBOV) are being reformulated and will be integrated with other government controls of cattle movements due to the partnership between cattle producers through their Brazilian Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock (CNA) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA). This new program is likely to be responsible for increasing the current list of Brazilian suppliers at around 1,900 ranchers, which would allow packers to have greater supplies of cattle for the European Union. Brazilian packers continue to have problems in filling the “Hilton Quota” due to restrictions made by the European Union. In 2013, Brazil will probably fill only 28 percent of the quota. 

Brazil is likely to reopen the Saudi beef market before the end of the year after the ban was put in place because of the BSE case in Parana. Brazilian and Saudi officials are close to signing an agreement on inspection requirements that would allow exports to that market. 

China continues to be a potentially major market for Brazilian beef, but exports remain insignificant. Due to the BSE case in Parana, Chinese officials banned imports from Brazil and are delaying approvals of new Brazilian plants. Meanwhile, exports to Hong Kong have skyrocketed.

A major concern of Brazilian beef exports is ractopamine residue. According to trade sources, despite the suspension of its use in November 2012, there have been cases of violations found throughout the country, which jeopardizes beef exports to markets such as the Russian Federation, China, Iran, Egypt and Chile. Trade sources also indicated that the use of Ivermectin is another concern that has the potential to affect exports to the United Sates.

Animal Numbers, Swine


Post forecasts hog production to increase by nearly two percent in 2014 to support higher pork exports and a small increase in domestic demand. Hog producers will likely benefit from record soybean and corn crops estimated for the 2013-14 crop year. In addition, government support programs at subsidized interest rates are available to hog producers to mitigate potential increase in feed costs.

Meat, Swine


Post forecasts an increase of two percent in pork production in 2014. This forecast reflects the current optimism of the pork industry with a continued recovery in export markets and a small increase in domestic demand. Packers are confident of lower feed costs and sustainable hog prices based on larger supplies of soybean and corn at lower prices than in 2012. 


Brazilian pork exports are forecast to increase by three percent in 2014, mostly due to the depreciation of the Brazilian currency. The following is a brief 2014 outlook for pork exports by major markets: 

Russian Federation: Trade sources expect the Russian Federation to continue to be the main importer of Brazilian pork in 2014 with nearly 30 percent market share. The main concern of pork exporters is related to animal health, such as, violations on the use of Ractopamine. 

Ukraine: Brazil recently reopened the market and exports are likely to rebound in 2014. 

Hong Kong: Traders are optimistic that exports will continue to increase in 2014 and Hong Kong will continue to be the second largest importer of Brazilian pork. 

Angola and Singapore: Traders foresee a continued increase of pork exports to these markets. 

Argentina and Venezuela: Bureaucracy and import controls are the main problems affecting these markets for Brazilian pork. 

Japan: The market was recently opened and first shipments began in August. For 2014, traders believe that Japan will become an important market for Brazil. 

New priorities for market access in 2014: South Korea and South Africa